Are the Tax people daft…??!!

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  • Are the Tax people daft…??!!
  • DrP
    Member

    …or is it me?

    So I wrote to them (on behalf of MrsDrP) saying she had a bit of extra income in one year, but also some expenses of work.

    They now say she owes £2.3k tax (which, oddly, is WAY over the extra income we declared).
    To take that £2.3k back , they are reducing her tax free allowance by over £10k…..

    Hmmm…..

    So, to have owed £2.3k TAX, she’d have needed an additional gross income of £5-8k ish (at 20-40% tax), which she didn’t. To me, she clearly doesn’t owe that much….

    However, if she DID owe that much (which I dispute), why are they reducing the personal allowance by over £10k…

    Me confoosed….!

    I’m not objecting to owing a bit more tax (as we declared income), but really this should be countered by the additional expenses…

    DrP

    poly
    Member

    I can’t explain why they think the sum due is £2.3k – do they not provide any explanation? However if you owe 2.3k then one way to adjust for that is to reduce the personal allowance to compensate for that. At 20% tax, the corresponding amount would be £11500.

    Premier Icon DaveRambo
    Subscriber

    Best bet is to give them a call and ask/explain.

    I found, when I called to change something, that the chap I spoke to was very reasonable and it was all sorted there and then.

    cupra
    Member

    Phone call is great in principle but good luck getting through!

    spacemonkey
    Member

    Yep, phone call +1.

    I know the IR are often tarred with the ar5ehole brush, but IMO I’ve (so far) found them totally sound when speaking in person or over the phone.

    tutgareth
    Member

    Are the Tax people daft…??!!

    YES indeed, three years ago I went on the company bupa scheme after working there for 5 years previously, the taxman then said as I had worked there for five years I owed them the deduction for that many years even though I had only just joined the scheme….idiots!! and i still have a reduced tax code even though i wasnt a member of the scheme during those five years and couldnt / didnt use it! yes the argument is still on going and has been for 3 years now company lawyers included too!, when they finally realise they’ll owe me about £2.3k!! idiots!!

    Pigface
    Member

    They make no sense at all. I was informed by a number of pretty threatening letters that I owed £75, eventually got through to them and they said it was fine and they would change my tax code and I would pay a amount a month. 6 weeks ago I get a letter thinking it will be confirmation of my tax code change. It wasn’t it was a cheque for £150 which apparently took into consideration that I owed then £75, I had now paid to much tax, certainly not complaining 😀

    Premier Icon theotherjonv
    Subscriber

    +1 to phone them up and persist. But if they insist on you sending docs in by post they’ll want originals, so send recorded and keep copies for yourself!!

    Like all big orgs, depends who you get as to whether it gets resolved well.

    For me it was a company car taxable allowance issue. When I changed cars I went to a far lower banded one, yet the tax code they sent me was hugely increased. After much back and forth involving lost docs (hence advice above) trying to get them to explain why a cheaper car had almost doubled my benefit in kind, it turns out that they’d forgotten to remove my old car from the calc. Hence I’d been paying for having two (if these processes were run by people instead of computers, do you think that might have raised a query?). So they amended my tax code so the 4 months additional tax at the high deduction level was compensated by 8 months of a lower tax code, but didn’t really compensate for the 2 and a bit grand of extra tax they’d taken in the meantime. Who else can admit an error and then insist to pay it back interest free over the best part of a year!

    Junkyard
    Member

    Best bet is to give them a call and ask/explain.

    news flash from National Audit Office
    a quarter of 79 million calls unanswered- report out this week
    Their letter answering skills are not much better

    No idea what to do but expect it to be as frustrating as waiting to see a DR in a NHS hospital 😉

    Premier Icon ratadog
    Subscriber

    On balance I decided that paying an accountant a small sum to deal with HMRC on an annual basis was worth it for the peace of mind.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    I seem to remember that if you do it online you can see how it is calculated. Can anyone confirm that? The one time I had a problem it was because I had forgotten to claim my personal allowance because I am a muppet. A phone call fixed it

    codybrennan
    Member

    Ratadog- remember that if the accountant makes a mistake or delays form submissions, you’ll still be liable.

    Premier Icon white101
    Subscriber

    good luck phoning them, sure they just announced all call centres were closing due to cuts.

    olddog
    Member

    Yes, if you do self assessment on-line then you get to see the full calc and what is owed or overpaid before you submit. It’s really straightforward.

    OP -Did they not send a calculation with the tax bill – they usually do?

    There are three explanations:

    (a) it’s a mistake./misunderstanding
    (b) your mrs has unkowingly unerpaid tax either this or in previous years and putting your hand up to this has caused them to check previous calcs
    (c) combination of the above.

    Could it be that HMRC have made an assumption that the extra earnings were also recieved in earlier years and adding on hypothetical retrospective tax. Did Mrs P complete SA tax returns previously, should she have done? But very much guess work without the details.

    Premier Icon leffeboy
    Subscriber

    If the OP has access to the online self assessment stuff then it may be worth checking if th calcs are there then and compare them with previous years. It might show up something obvious that has been missed

    Joe
    Member

    They are utter morons. They have little idea of what they are doing. I really do wonder sometimes what they get upto all day.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I got a nasty letter saying I’d underpaid by quite a lot last year. I’m PAYE so it seemed odd. Did the maths, nothing wrong. So phoned up and they said “You didn’t pay tax on your jobseeker’s allowance”. I have a job, I say, I don’t get JSA, the clue is in the name”. They say, “Well, you owe us a year’s tax for JSA”. I say, I have a job. I’m PAYE. I paid quite a bit of tax last year, from that job, and you know that because it’s on my tax statement. So how could I be claiming JSA? They say, we don’t know but you owe us a year’s tax for your JSA. In all my life I’ve claimed 3 months JSA, and all in previous years.

    So I have to prove to them I didn’t claim JSA. What will they accept? Letter from the DSS? No, not good enough. Must be my P60 for the JSA. I didn’t get any JSA , so I have no P60. Oh OK then, contact the DSS and get an annual statement for your JSA. I contact them, you can’t get a statement for imaginary benefits, there’s no null statement. P45 from when I stopped getting JSA in the previous tax year? No, because that doesn’t prove I didn’t start claiming again after I started work. Somehow.

    So… Stuck, trying to disprove an income that was invented out of thin air, with no supporting evidence, which the other facts they already have show can’t exist. In the meantime they’re deducting my “debt” from my wages. Cheers!

    DrP
    Member

    She’s PAYE, and always has been.
    It wasn’t a self assessment (which I asked them to set up but they declined it!) so it was simply a letter stating “I received x as untaxed income, and spent y on work stuff”.

    They do seem to have a habit of extrapolating backwards on certain things….
    I wish they’d leave tax codes as they are, and simply produce a bill/cheque…. Year on year these additional figures may alter, yet they can’t seem to understand that!

    She rang them, but couldn’t ask the right questions…I’ll do it when I can!

    DrP

    andrewh
    Member

    good luck phoning them, sure they just announced all call centres were closing due to cuts.

    No, it’s the local offices. You will still be able to ring them (if you can get through) but not drop in and see them.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    2.3K rings a bit of a bell – fairly sure my wife was told she owed that last year. Wrongly, of course

    I found out a few years back that they’d started deducting a bit of allowance for “tips” every year (beginning the year after they told me I didn’t need to submit forms any more). I work in the NHS; apart from the odd box of chocs I’ve never had a tip.

    They doubled the amount annually and when I cahllenged it they ended up owing me about, err 2.3K 😀

    DrP
    Member

    Brilliant!

    I’m looking at the letter I sent them…

    Essentially, she paid £4194 in work related expenses up to 2011-12, and an extra £2132 in the same period…

    Hmm, not sure where her owning them £2.3k in tax comes from…….! Madness!
    I’m off to put all our money in Cypriot bank – the tax man (nor anyone..) will get their hands on it there!

    DrP

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Are the Tax people daft…??!!

    I thought that my contempt for the utter brain-dead, petty incompetence of HMRC knew no bounds. However, I have just now received a phone call querying my VAT submissions for a business I wound up 4 years ago. Apparently they haven’t received them yet for the last quarter. Dear God!!! Yes, you ****ing idiots, you haven’t received them because……

    Absolute morons!!!

    freddyg
    Member

    So they amended my tax code so the 4 months additional tax at the high deduction level was compensated by 8 months of a lower tax code, but didn’t really compensate for the 2 and a bit grand of extra tax they’d taken in the meantime. Who else can admit an error and then insist to pay it back interest free over the best part of a year!

    That seems to be the default option. When this happened to me, I called them and requested a cheque, I had it less than a week later.

    Conversely, when I was self employed, I paid an accountant a small fortune to sort my accounts out for me – this stuff may as well be written in Chinese, I just don’t understand it. The accountant made a number of blunders resulting in me receiving a £350 fine for late filing, an unexpected £8k corporation tax bill one year and another for £1750 the following year. The accountant realised they’d cocked up mightily and paid the fine and half of the £1750 bill.

    the hustler
    Member

    are the tax people daft? you decide

    A couple of years a go we made a couple of big purchases for our business which meant 1 quarter we were actually owed a vat rebate, this was sorted they sent us a cheque and everything all fine, roll on three weeks we get a VAT demand stating we are to be fined for non payment of VAT.

    So I phone them and get it checked and they agree that nothing is owed, sounds good…………..

    ………the only way their mistake could be corrected was if i sent them a fax telling them so ……………..

    deepreddave
    Member

    No but HMRC are cutting running costs by £millions whilst bringing in extra £billions so maybe they’re busy…..

    DrP
    Member

    Comedy update…

    So we rang them, ad asked them to forward any calculations they have made to come up with this figure.
    Letter received today.
    Tax overpaid to the sum of £359.

    Yes.

    We’re owed £359, according to latest figures……

    Hmm…… Further phone calls on Monday me thinks!

    DrP

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    I’m PAYE, haven’t had a pay rise or change in circumstances for 3 years, yet seem to get a new tax code every month or so. F*** knows what they think is going on…

    Premier Icon bruk
    Subscriber

    Had them fine me for not sending in tax returns for 4 years when I was paye. Eventually argued down to 1 years fine. No letters to work or my address for years then demands for underpaid and fines totalling 10k plus with very threatening content, ie we are about to take you to court. Had to pay them and after arguing got most of it back.
    No explanation of how this occurred and sure as hell no apology either.

    Not convinced the computer system works as we you do actually talk to someone they can fix the problem bu not explain how it happened.

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Subscriber

    So how did the Cypriot banking work out for you?

    Premier Icon mtbmaff
    Subscriber
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